How’s This For Proof?

By March 20, 2010Beliefs, Science

I used to play on a Christian soccer team, not for any philosophical reasons obviously, but more out of convenience and availability, and boredom… I am no longer welcome on that team. But back then, I was involved in a friendly, post-game argument with the team captain over an after-game beer.

So you’ve all heard that the universe is only 6,000 years old, right? From Wikipedia:

Young Earth creationism is a form of creationism that asserts the Heavens, Earth, and all life were created by direct acts of the Abrahamic god during a relatively short period, sometime between c. 5,700 and 10,000 years ago. Its adherents are Christians and Jews who believe that God created the Earth in six 24-hour days, taking a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation myth as a basis for their beliefs., and include around 10-45% of American adults, depending on various polls. Some adherents hold that this view is supported by existing evidence in the natural world. Those adherents believe that the scientific evidence supporting evolution, geological uniformitarianism, or other theories which are contradictory to a literal interpretation of this creation myth, are either flawed or misinterpreted.

I suppose the discrepancy between 5,700 and 10,000 is held because we’re not sure whether they knocked up children back then, or waited until today’s legal age of consent.

Anyways, the stock standard argument when talking to Young Earth creationists resolves around the question “Explain dinosaurs?” I took this argument one step further.

“So God created the heavens and the Earth right? Like, he created the whole universe in one day? That’s pretty amazing! The universe is HUGE! Our galaxy alone has 200 billion other stars in it and the nearest star to Earth (besides the sun) is more than four light years away! That means, light from that star travels four years at the speed of light just to get to us. We’re seeing the star as it was four years ago… Amazing yeah?

“And our galaxy – with 200 billion stars in it – is 3,000 light years thick! And guess how wide it is? 90,000 light years. Man, that’s huge! Like, that means it takes light 90,000 years to travel from one side to the other.

“On top of that, the nearest galaxy to ours is the Andromeda Galaxy, which is more than 2 million light years away! Light travels 2 million years from there just to get to us. We’re seeing it as it was 2 million years ago!

“Oh wait – how old did you say the universe was?”

The point being, if God did create the entire universe 6,000 years ago (all the 200 billion stars in our galaxy, plus the more than 170 billion other galaxies in the observable universe), he would have also had to fill the void between those stars and us with a constant stream of light directed into our skies to make it appear like these objects were millions of years old. But, of course, they’re not, right? Like dinosaurs…

In fact, not only would he have had to create light waves between us and them, he would have had to stretch the waves, because when he did create the universe 6,000 years ago, he set everything in motion to make it appear like it expanded out from a single point about 13.75 billion years ago. But, of course, it didn’t, because it wasn’t around 13.75 billion years ago. The universe, with its more than 170 billion galaxies and its more than 9 billion trillion stars was created in 24 hours around 6,000 years ago.

Just like dinosaurs…